If you’re working out when the Epsom Derby is, how to watch it and what to wear, we’ve got you covered.
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Words: L. Thorpe


If you’re planning on attending a race day at Epsom Downs, here’s everything you need to know to make the most of your experience.

What is the Epsom Derby?

Epsom Downs Racecourse is one of the most famous and historic horse racing venues in the world. It is located in Surrey, England, and is renowned for hosting the Epsom Derby, one of the most prestigious horse races in the world. The Epsom Derby, also known as the Investec Derby, is a Group 1 flat horse race for three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies. The race is run over a distance of one mile, four furlongs, and six yards (2,420 metres) and takes place annually in early June. It originally started in 1780 and has continued each year to the present day.

In addition to the Epsom Derby, the racecourse hosts a number of other important horse racing events throughout the year, including the Epsom Oaks, the Coronation Cup and the Epsom Dash.



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When is the Epsom Derby?

The Epsom Derby will be run on the first Saturday of June, as it is every year. This year, the event will be held from Friday 31st May to Saturday 1st of June at the Epsom Downs Racecourse. Day one is Ladies Day, where people throw it all out there in the style stakes alongside music and entertainment.

On race day, gates typically open around two hours before the first race. It’s a good idea to arrive early to give yourself plenty of time to explore the racecourse and soak up the atmosphere. You can take part in betting, grab something to eat and drink, with choices from fast food stands through to fine dining, and plenty of entertainment. It can get busy, so it’s recommended to book ahead if you want to enjoy a meal in a certain space.

There are often live music performances, as well as family-friendly activities like bouncy castles and face painting. This means that everyone can stay entertained at the event.

Is the Epsom Derby on TV?

This year, the 2023 Derby at Epsom Racecourse will be shown live on ITV and can be watched on your TV, tablet or mobile. ITV is on Sky Channel 103 and Virgin Media Channel 103.

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How to get to Epsom Derby?

By car:

If you’re driving to Epsom Downs, the racecourse is located just off the A217 and is well signposted. There is ample parking available on site, but it’s best to arrive early to avoid any traffic delays.

By train:

The nearest train station to Epsom Downs is Tattenham Corner, which is located just a short walk from the racecourse. Trains run regularly from London Victoria and take approximately 40 minutes. Alternatively, you can take a train to Epsom station and then catch a shuttle bus to the racecourse.

By bus:

There are a number of bus routes that serve Epsom Downs Racecourse, including the 460 and 480. These buses run regularly from Epsom and other nearby towns.

What to wear to the Epsom Derby?

There are a few different dress codes for the Epsom Derby, depending on where you are at the event. Here’s what to wear to the Epsom Derby and how to wear it.

Queen’s Stand

For Ladies Day, men must wear a jacket, collared shirt and tie. Women are asked to wear a fascinator or hat and children should be dressed smartly. Jeans, sports shorts, denim and trainers are not acceptable anywhere at the event.

For Derby Day, men need to wear either a black or grey morning suit with a top hat but have the option of service dress or full national costume if that’s more their thing. Ladies must wear a formal day dress, or a tailored trouser suit, with a hat or substantial fascinator. Fancy dress isn’t allowed and will lead to guests being denied entry to the event.

Grandstand (Duchess’s Stand)

In hospitality areas, men need to wear jackets and collared shirts, ties are encouraged but not essential. Ladies are asked to wear a fascinator or hat. Denim is allowed but it should be smart and not frayed, worn, or ripped. Children should be dressed smartly.

In the enclosure, jackets, trousers and collared shirts are encouraged but not essential. Again denim is allowed but it must be smart and not frayed, worn or ripped and children should be smartly dressed. No sleeveless vests, fancy dress, or sportswear and this includes trainers.

Upper Tattenham Enclosure and The Hill

Due to the event’s nature, the dress code is quite a bit more relaxed than most other horse racing fixtures. Jackets, trousers and collared shirts are encouraged but not essential.

Looking for a guide to the biggest horse racing events in the UK (and what to wear to them)? Head to our Race Day Guide for more info on the most popular UK horse racing events.